Newspaper Page Text
"Wv tm fw Mm u1i0 to tonne tf battle, nutt frv lite wMow nntt ofpfcaug.
ESTABLISHED 1877 -NEW SERIES. WASHINGTON, D. 0., THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 1883. YOL. H-NO. 31.-WH0LE NO. 83. If THE BATTLE OF SHILOE General James 0. Veateh Replies to General Hovey. WAS THERE A SURPRISE ? His Reasons for Thinking there Was None. STORY OE THE EIGHT. An Interesting Description of the Two Days' Struggle. Farragut Post, G. A. R., of Evansville, Ind., held a brilliant Gimp-fire on the evening of last Thursday, the Sth iiist., and tho occasion was made notable by tho delivery of an address by General James C. Vcatch on the battle of Shilob, in reply to General Hovey. The Camp-fire, says the Evansville Journal, was held at Evans Hall, and the stage wis hand somely decorated with two stands of tho na tional colors, and stacks of arms lent an appro priate aspect to the occasion. General Shackel ford, Colonel Charles Denby, Major H. A. Mat ;tison, and Captain W. H. Keller, of Farragut Post, occupied seats on the Btage with tho speaker of the evening. The musical features of the evening were a patriotic quartette sung by Mrs. Ehvood Baker, Miss Durham, and Messrs. Ewing and Paine, and two patriotic solos by Mis. J. N. Silver thorne. Mrs. Sil verthome first sang " Tho Red , White, and Blue," and then, in response to deafening applause, kindly appeared and gave "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp," which was also re ceived with great favor. General Veatch was introduced by Major Mattison, and illustrated his remarks by a map of the scene of the battle. He spoke de liberately and distinctly and with fine effect, and was listened to with the profoundest attention. After briefly describing the events which led up to Shiloh, General Vcatch proceeded as follows: General Hallcck, who was in chief command of tho armies in the "West, with headquarters at St. Louis, -about he 1st of March ordered General Grant to move his army from the Cumberland back to the Tennessee River and embark on steamers for an expedition up that river. Thijordcrwas executed' with great rapidity, some of the troops moving on transports down the Cumberland and up the Tennessee, and others marching through mud, ice, and snow from Fort Donelson to Fort Henry and taking transports there. About the 5th of 3rarch an angry dispatch came from General Hallook io General tJrant asking: "Why don'tyou obey my orders? Why don't you answer my dispatches? Turn over the command of the Tennessee expedition to General Charles F. Smith, and remain yourself at Fort Henry." This was the reward meted out to the general who had won the first great "victory of the war at that time, the greatest victory ever achieved on the American conti nent. But the expedition was not delayed. General Smith moved his army on an immense fleet of steamers up tho Tennessee River to Savannah, where ho made his headquarters, about the 13th of March. From this point he sent General Hurlbut with two brigades up to PITTSBURG LANDING, ten miles above, and General Sherman with his division further up the rivor to break the Memphis and Charleston Bailroad at or near Burnsville, Mssissippi. Incessant rains and swollen streams rendered the roads impassable, nd hindered General Sherman from reaching the objective point of his expedition. On his return down the river ho examined Pittsburg Landing, and finding it the best point from which the railroad might be reached, he re ported the facts to General Smith, who then ordered the divisions of Hurlbut and Sherman to go into camp at that place. Hurlbut took position on the 18th of March & mile from the landing, and Sherman moved out on the 19th about three miles, and occupied fche Purdy road, placing his right near the cross ing of Owl Creek, and extending his line near Ehiloh Meeting-house, with his left across the main Corinth road. This was the position occupied by three brigades of his command, while a fourth, under Colonel Stuart, was posted at the crossing of Lick Creek, on tho Hamburg road, and more than a mile from his other troops. General Prentiss soon after came in and filled a part of the space between Colonel Stuart and General Sherman. General McClernaud was placed to the left and rear of General Sherman, and General W. H. L. Wallace on tho right of General Hurlbut, and about the same distance from the landing. General Lew Wallace jivas at Cramp's Land ing, about six miles below. We now have before us the six divisions of the Army of tho Tennessee, in camp on the west side of that rivor, under the command of General Charlc3 F. Smith, and it is my recollection that each division was directed to its position bj the engineer on his staff, Lieutenant-Colonel UcPherson. General Smith's failing health rendered him incapable of active command, and on the 17th of March, General Hallcck placed General Grant again in command of the Army of the Tennessee, bnt according to General Rawlins, he did not assume command until tho 31st of March, six days before the battle. Ho estab lished headquarters at Pittsburg Landing, where some of his fctaff remained, but his prin cipal headquarters were still at Savannah, ten miles below. The camp at Pittsburg Landing was lo cated on high rolling land between Snake Creek on tho north and Lick Creek on the south. Those streams, at tho time tho camp raa formed, were filled with back water, and fcfforded complete protection from any attack on the right or left. Tho field was intersected by deep ravines and hollows, which ran off and emptied into the creeks on our right and left. They were lined with thickets of laurel and azalia, and their bottoms were 6pongy and miry, and often impassible. The ridges were covered with thick forests of oak and hickory, and filled in many places with dense thickets f undergrowth. There were here and there small fields of cleared land. All besides was as nature formed it. Roads leading to Purdy, Corinth, and Ham burg traversed this encampment, and teamsters had cut numerous tracks, along which it was possible to move army wagons to and fro from the camps. Our front was over three miles long, extend ing from Owl Creek on the right to Lick Creek on the left, and was guarded by the divisions of Sherman and Prentiss. There was no field works or defenses of any kind. The roads wero opou and as free for the rebels as to ourselves, if they choso to take the chances. But why wait to bo attacked ? With Grant at tho head of the army why not move on the enemy? There were two Tcacons. The heavy rains of March had rendered tho roads impassible, and General Hallcck, by whose orders every movement was made, had directed General Buell to move tV.e Army of the Ohio from Nashville and joiu General Grant, and the two armies were to make A COMIJINED MOVEMENT ON TOE ENEMY. Buell was at Columbia, ninety miles away, on the 20th of March. Ten days of very easy marching on fair roads ought to have brought him up on the 30th. But tho heavy rains and wretched roads delayed him till tho 6th of April, and he reached there only in time to join in the battle on tho 7th. But while Grunt's army was waiting for Buell, the rebels wero not idle. Beauregard was in command at Corinth, only twenty miles from us. He had called to hiB support the forces undor Hardee, Bragg, Polk and Brecken ridge. Ho had determined that as wo were slow in going to him ho would come to us. Ho had about fort3'-five thousand men, and with this forco he determined to strike Grant before Buell came up. He moved from Corinth on tho 3d of April. Albert Sidney Johnson, the ablest genei-al in the Southern army, joined him and took command of tho movement. It was the intention to make the attack on the 5th, but tho rain storm delayed some of their troops, and they rested on their arms that night as near our lines as they could ap proach without creating an alarm. It was well understood in our camp that tho rebel forces were near us. It was generally known that they wero in strong force at Corinth. The skirmishing with our pickets for several days past had indicated that they wero on all tho roads, and the attack on an out-post on Friday evening, in which several cannon shots wero fired, aroused the whole camp. But our generals did not believe they in tended to attack us, and wo confidently ex pected to attack fhem as soon as Buell arrived. We had the advantage in position, but in nearly every other respect the advantage was on their side. They had 45,000 men ; we had 32,000. They had three corps commanders, a commander-in-chief, and a second in command under him. They had a well arranged plan of attack, understood by all their oilicors. We had no plan of defense, for an attack was not anticipated. BUT THE ATTACK CAME! The first fighting is reported to have taken place in front of Prentiss' division. TJirco com panies of the Twenty-fifth Missouri had moved out on the road as early as three o'clock on Sunday morning. Thoy soon struck tho ad vanced guard of Hardee's corps, and the fight began. The alarm spread along our lines, and Beauregard, seeing that his movement was discovered, advised that the attack should be abandoned. But Sidney Johnson ordered tho advance to push rapidly on our front. Tho pickets and advanced guards were soon driven in on all the roads and THE BATTLE OF SHILOn WAS ON. Hardee's right struck Prentiss' division, and his left and center wero thrown against Gen eral Sherman. Bragg's corps followed close after, filling any gaps that were made in the line, and Polk and Brockenridge re-enforced the others when needed. Our trocpd must have been engaged in sharp fighting on our left by soven o'clock, and yet not a sound of tho battle had reached the cen ter of the camp. A strong breeze from tho river boro the sounds from us, and tho rattle and noise of army wagons going to and from tho landing deadened and obscured tho distant roar of battle. My command was the Second brigado of Hurlbut's division. The troops had been in lino at daylight, and stacked arms in company quarters. Sunday morning inspection was to follow after breakfast. Many wero at break fast when Lieutenant Lona, of Hurlbut's staff, was seen riding at full speed toward my head quarters. It could be seen by his manner before ho reached us that he bore important orders. His brief message was : " Wo are attacked by a heavy force. General Hurlbut directs that you move to the support of General Sherman's left!" The long roll was sounded, and in an instant every regiment was forming in line. General Hurlbut says in his report that my brigade was moving out in ten minutes after the order reached me. As we passed near his headquarters he was moving tho rest of his division in the direction of General Prentiss' lines. Our march to the front was as rapid as possible, and we Etruck tho line of battle on General McClernaud's left. Tho regiments of my brigado were the Fourteenth Illinois, Colonel Hall; the Fifteenth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Ellis; tho Forty -sixth Illi nois, Colonel J. A. Davis; and the Twenty fifth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan. It Is no disparagement to others to cay that no better or braver command went into battle that day. The battlo was raging furlonsly on tho right and left of us and heavy columns wero seen moving directly on the point wo occupied. Captain Burrows' Fourteenth Ohio battery was near us. He opened fire on their advance, and plowed great furrows through their ranks, but without cheeking their progress. His Bhots drew the fire from their batteries on our posi tion, and soon shell and grape fell around us with deadly accuracy. Tho Fifteenth Illinois was now in range and sent its fire into their ranks with great precis ion and effect. Its example was followed by all the other regiments. Their volleys mowed down the front ranks, but these wero filled by the reserves. Suddenly, aa if in the execution of a long-delayed purpose, thoy opened a con verging fire on our position from right, left and center. The Fifteenth Illinois was driven from its position, leaving its field officers and their company commanders dead on the field. Lieutenant-Colonel Ellis and Major Goddard, of that regiment, fell in their places, yielding thoir lives rather than retire. This stream of fire next struck the Forty aixth Illinois. Lieutenant-Colonel Dornblaser was wounded, the color guard ahot down and tho men wero falling rapidly Tho -troops on our right and left had given way, tho battery had been silenced and our position could no longer be held. I gavo tho order to fall back and form a new' lino. ThoTwenty-fifth Indiana and theFourteenth Illinois had been slightly protected in thoir first position and had suffered less than tho others ; but they had hardly formed on the new lino when they foil under a very heavy fire. Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan was wounded and carried from tho field, and the command of tho regiment fell on MAJOR JOHN W. FOSTER, who gallantly and skillfully conducted it dur ing tho two days' battle. We had now formed on a line with General McClernaud, extending his left, and as our po sition was strong, wo held it until McClernaud's division was forced to fall back again. Whilo in this position I had time to noto how tho battle progressed. It was evident that our whole lino was being driven back. Tho ground was contested most stubbornly, but in overy case it had finally to bo given up. Their plan of battle appeared to bo to assault tho right, left and center alternately with such over whelming force as to compel it to givo way. Tho battle would rago at one point of our lines with the most intense fury, while all the rest seemed to pause aud await tho result. Then suddenly it would cease and soon open at another point, with all tho vigor and energy of a first onset; and so the tido of battle ran from seven in tho morning to fivo in tho afternoon. At tho beginning it was a fight by division commanders, each ono calling for help, whon needed, from tho ono nearest to him, and each giving aid without question, wherever most needed. When the battle opened McClernaud's division aud one brigade of Hurlbut's went to aid General Sherman, and tho division of W. H. L. Wallace and tho remainder of Hurlbut's division went to the assistance of Genoral Prentiss. There was no commander-in-chief on tho field. General Grant, as you know, was at Savannah, and did not arrive there till efcht o'clock. After that time tho battle was fought under his personal direction ; but thero was little opportunity for the display of general ship. It was a battle in which pluck and cour age were of tho very highest value, and he was the best general who could, in the greatest de gree, inspire his raon with these qualities. No one can doubt that the presence of General Grant had this effect on all parts of tho field. But to return from this digression to tho bat tle line: Sherman and McClernaud had held a solid line from Sherman's right to McClernaud's loft, which all the assaults niado against it could not break. Thoy had been driven back repeatedly, but the lino hud not been broken. In falling back a wide gap had occurred bo yond McClernaud's left, but the rebels did not seem anxious to enter this open door to tho landing. They appeared more intent on crush ing our loft, or getting between it and tho river. It was my impression then, as it is now, that any time after two o'clock, while thoy wero making such tremendous attacks on tho right and left, a division of six or eight thousand men might have .forced its wuy- through' the gap and reached the landing in spito of us. About four o'clock thoy did take advantage of it, and passing to the rear of Prentiss com pelled his surrender. At this time my right still rested on McClernaud's left, and my left was near tho Corinth road, and not far west of General Hurlbut's headquarters. Wo heard the yell of cxhultaliou when Prontiss surren dered, and the ominous silence that followed on that'part of the field caused us to four that we had suffered a serious disaster. Suddenly a confused mass of inula teams, artillery wag ons and caissons, aud a swarm of stragglers came pouring down tho Hamburg and Corinth roads. They wore closely followed by the rebels dragging a six-pounder gun by hand down the road, and firing charges of grapo and canister into the fleeing fugitives every low rods. It was impossible to fire on tli is advancing force without shooting our own men, aud before we could extricate ourselves from this confused mass tho rebels wero within sixty yards of our rear. We had to get out of thi3 position quickly; aud we did bo by falling back on our last lino on the road leading from tho lauding. Our whole left wing had fallen hack after the capture of Prentiss, and was now re-formod on the new Hue, which oxtended directly back from the river about a mile and a half, and then turned to tho right and rear, to cover Snake Creek bridge It was on this new line that the famous battory of artillery, composed of fifty pieces, was placed by Genoral Webster. Soon after we wore in position, tho last at tacks of the day took place. But tho firo of this artillery was moro than any forco could stand, and they recoiled, and then fell buck, and the first day's battle was ended. About six o'clock the advance of Buell's army crossed the river. It was Amnion's brigado of Nelson's division. Soon after landing, it had a sharp skirmish of a few minutes with tho robol advances, then all was still. BUT WHERE WAS LEW WALLACE? Many times that day tho question was nsked. Every timo we fell back, wo looked for him on that lino. With the re-enforcement of his div ision we expected to drive them buck and do feat them. Thoy had been held in check for eight weary hours with fivo divisions. " Give us one more and we will whip them." Such wore tho thoughts expressed a thousuud times that day. General Hovey, In his very valuable paper read before this Post, has explained fully how Wallace consumed the day in a fruitless march, not through any fault of his, and I accept his view as a satisfactory answer to the question. Wallace was on tho field a littlo beforo dark that day, and his division got into position on tho right about one o'clock that night. Tho divisions of Nelson, Crittenden, and McCook, of Buell's army, arrived during tho night aud took position on tho left. My brigade formed line about one hundred yards in advance of tho heavy siege guns, where they lay on their arms during the night. Tho rain poured down in torrents upon us, Tho exhausted men rested on tho wet ground, with tiny streams of water coursing under and around them. No dry places could be found, and tho efforts of tho men wero not to keep dry themselves, but to keep their arms and ammu nition dry. Many of them had gone into the battle in tho morning without breakfast, fought all day without dinner, gone supperless to bed, and slept in a rain storm with tho music of tho gunboats for their lullaby. The gunboats Tylor and Loxington lay in the stream Just above tho lauding, and had given valuable aid in tho afternoon when our force3 fell back to their last line. During tho night they throw shells every tan minutes, dropping them all through our camps, now occupied by the rebels. SO PASSED THE NIGIIT. Our fresh troops at early dawn pushed for ward in liue and soon drew the firo of the rebels. Tho battlo began early, and at once bid fair to equal in intensity tho first day. Gen eral Hurlbut ordered my brigado to get their breakfast and then be ready to niovo out to support the right. About ton o'clock we were called out aud moved up in closo supporting distance of the advance line. About noon Gen eral McCook sent a request that I should move to tho left and close a part of tho line left exposed by tho forward movement. Wo occupied this position all tho afternoon. General Grant came up at this time, aud in person gavo me an order to charge tho lino in front. Soon we were in motion. At the first dash tho rebels broke and tied, and we pursued them on tho double quick through our deserted camps and to tho thick woods beyond, still pushing them till wo weie in advance of General Buell's lino and ordered to halt by him. The rebels gavo a retreating fire, but never stopped to repeat it. They wero everywhere now in retreat, and our commanding generals having decided thai enough had beon accomplished no pursuit was made, and tho great battlo was ended. 1 havo given a brief but imperfect sketch of the fighting of these two days. I will not at tempt a description of tho battlo. No painter over depicted correctly a battlo sceno. No tongue or 'pen ever fully described one. A battlo must bo seen to be appreciated. It must bo entered into to bo understood. It is a fear ful sight to see two meu engaged in deadly conflict, each intent on taking tho lifo of the other; but increase thi3 numbor to eighty thousand, with all tho modern appliances of warfare, and wo feel at onco tho poverty of language to describe tho thrilling sceno. My position near tho center on both day3 gave me a fair opportunity to form an opinion of tho fighting on each day. Tho first day was a fierce onset of an army full of vigor and con fident of victory. The second day was the stubborn resistance of an army badly shattered in tho first day's fight, unwilling to yield tho ground, but hopeless of retaining it. Tho rebels know they wero FIGHTING A LOSING BATTLE. There wore sudden bursts of battlo as furi ous and intense as any that occurred on tho firat day, but thoy wero less frequent, and of shorter duration. This view is confirmed by tho ollicial reports of the killed and wounded. Take Nelson's division. No ono can doubt, who reads tho account of tho battle, that Nel son was in tho hottest of the fighting on tho second day. That ho pushed the enemy stead ily from tho beginning. His official report shows a loss of 90 killed and 590 woundcdout of a division of 4,5-10 strong.. Turn to Hurl but's division. His second brigado had less than 2,000, and tho loss is 124 killed and 530 wounded. A comparison of these two com mands is inndo because I chance to havo tho official reports before me ; but the same propor tions will hold good with all the others. And yet it is often claimed that Buell's army did the fighting ntr-Shiloh.. rmtist now turn to twn.points abont which differences of opinion am still entertained. 1. Was tho army surprised on tho morning of thoGfh of April? 2. Was General Sherman in command at that time, and responsible for what took placo? General Hovoy, in his very interesting and valuablo paper read beforo this Post, on tho 2Gth of January, says: "Such was Sherman's position on Saturday night, when he, and not Grunt, was in full commaud of the field." I understand this to mean that Genoral Sherman was in command of all tho troops at Pittsburg Landing. If such was really tho case, there ought to be some official evidence of that fact. What general or speoial order placed him in command? What order of his ever announced that ho had asnuned command? What officer or man of the Army of the Ton it cssee outside of Sherman's own division ever received an order or command from him? Theso inquiries must all be answered In tho negativo for tho simple reason that General Sherman was not in command. But did ho ever claim that ho was In com maud. In his report of tho battio he signs himself a3 commander of the Fifth division, and ho nowhere claims to havo had any larger commaud. Did tho other division commanders understand that he exercised any larger com mand? Thoy most certainly did not. Mc Clernand says that ho was "requested" by Sherman to support his left. Hurlbut speaks of a "messago" and "request" from Sherman, but neither he nor McClcritand mentioned any command or order from Sherman. Theso facts ought to 6ettlo thi3 point boyond any further controversy. But here is one moro. General Sherman at that timo stood third in the rank of division commanders in the Army of tho Tennessee. Their rank was in tho following order: McClernaud, Low Wal lace, Sherman, Hurlbut, Prentiss, and General W. H. L. Wallace. McClernaud and Lew Wal lace wero major-generals. All the others wero brigadiers. General Sherman was not in com mand, aud without a violation of military law and usago could not havo taken command whilo an officer that ranked him was present. Having disposed of this question, tho charge of General Sherman's responsibility for the condition of affaira at tho opening of tho battlo needs no answer. Was tho army surprised? On this much-dls-oussed Bubjoct thero haa been a flood of charges and defenses for a period of twenty years, aud tho end is not yet. I have often thought that this was a dispute moro about words than about facts. WIIAT IS MEANT BY A SURPRISE? Is tho fact that tho army fought In the open field (or rather forest) without defensivo works of any kind evidence of a surprise? If so, then most of tho great battles of history wero surprises. Is tho fact that our commanders, knowing tho enemy was near us in largo force, did not believe ho would attack us, ovidenco of a surprise? If so, thou a surprise happens ou one sldo or another in most battles. You often think your enemy will fight when ho does not, and he often turns and fights .when you think ho will not. But neithor of these stato of facts would constitute n surprise. Without attempting to give in preclso words what would constitute a surprise in a military sense, I will read an extract from a popular work, and will admit, if tho facta agreo with this statement, the array was surprised : "As dny broke, our pickets ot. PrentIs3uront came rushing into camp barely tn nttvunco of the pursu ing rebels, whoso fl'julls wore teaiiiiBT through our tents a moment afterwards. Sorno of orur men wero dressing, otho? wosulmr and cooking, a niw eating tltoir (jrcukClsta" many, eapeoiuUy atlicera, hud not risen. Tb next Instant magnificent lines of battlo poured out of tho wood in front of oar camps, ana at u double-qukit rnshutf in upon our bewildered, hnlf-drcssocl and not yet half-formed men; firing: deadly Yolioyi &t closo range, then springing on our helpless, contless, musketlcss mob, with the bayonet; some fell as they run, oth ers as they emerged from their tents, or as they strove to buckle on their accoutrements; some tried to stiriciulcr, but the rebels could not stop then to take prisoners. Some of tbe.ie were found, though disabled, still alive, wlien we recovered those tents next evening." American Conflict, "Vol. 2, CI. Was this acccount taken from tho official re ports of that battlo? Did any officer who took part in that battlo make such a report? I think not. The statements agree almost to tho very words with the first newspaper accounts written from Paducah and Cairo, by porsons who wero not on the battle-field. In attempting to get at the facts in the case I have placed all the accounts I havo seen in two classes. First, those who wero there; and, second, those who wero not there. I propose to examine tho testimony of those who wore thero, and, if not satisfied, I will then hear the testimony of those who wero not there. No ono has ever charged that tho divisions of McClcrnand, nurlbut, or W. H. L. Wallace wero surprised. Thoy wero in tho interior of tho camp and marched out in perfect order to battlo. Tho surprise, if it occurred, must have taken placo on tho lines of Sherman or Prentiss. Let us begin with General 8hcrman. He was on the right and his brigades were com manded by McDowell, Buckland and Hildcr brand. General Sherman says: "On Sunday morning early, (the Gth,) the enemy drove our pickets back on the main body, when I ordered under arms my division. Shortly after 7 a. m., with my entire stall', I rode along a portion of our front, and when in front of Appier's regi ment was fired upon by the rebel pickets." Ho further says that at 8 o'clock ho saw largo mosses of tho enemy moving to his left and front, and nt this time all his regimonts were in line of battle in their proper places. Who will claim that Shorman was surprised when ho had moro than an hour in which to prepare for battlo? Were any of his brigado commanders sur prised? McDowell, commanding the right brigade, says : " On Sunday morning, the Gth, at tho first alarm, my line was formed, as por previous orders. At eight o'clock tho line was thrown forward on tho brow of tho hill." Here again is ample preparation for battle. Buckland, who is next on the liue, says that with tho first alarm his brigado was in line, and " being informed that the pickets were be ing driven in, ho ordered Colonel Sullivan, of the Forty-eighth Ohio, to advance and support tho pickets, which ho did." Has not every thing hero proceeded with as perfect order as you ever saw at tho opening of a battle? Hildcbrand is tho next in lino. He says: " Early on Sunday morning, the Gth, our pick ets were fired on, and shortly after seven o'clock the enemy appeared in forco in columns of regiments at least four deep. Having formed my brigade in line of battle, I orderod an ad vance." Now here was the point on Sherman's line that first gave way. General Sherman says: " My Third brigado did break much too soon." But it was not because it was surprised, for, you seo, thoy wero in line and moving out for battle. You are now convinced that no surpriso oc curred on Sherman's lino. Whero shall we find it? In Prontiss' division? General Prentiss was surrounded and captured whilo most hero ically holding his position. He did not inako a report immediately after tho battle, as he was a prisoner. I understand ho did nuike his report afterwards, but I havo novcr seen it, and cannot tell what ho said about a surprise. But Lieutonant-Colonel Quinn, of tho Twelfth Michigan, and acting commander of Prentiss' division after his capture, mado a report, aud says that sovoral companies wero sent out from that division at three o'clock on Sunday morn ing; that thoy advanced thrco miles, struck tho enemy, and woro driven back ; that they wero re-enforced, and that General Prentiss ordered his division in lino and advanced a quarter of a mile, whero ho met tho enemy, but in such heavy forco that he was driven back. Tho report of Colonel David Moore, of the Twenty-first Missouri, who went out with his regiment to support tho pickets that morning, is to the samo ofi'ect. Wo havo only ono moro point on this line to examine, and that is tho position held by Col onel David Stuart, commanding tho last brig ado of General Sherman's division. Ho was on the cxtrcmo left on tho Hamburg road. Ho is notified both by his own pickots and by Gen eral Prentiss that tho enemy was advancing, and posts his command IN POSITION TO RESIST TIIE ATTACK. Wo havo now examined every part of tho lino to find who was really surprised, and have not found any ono. But, it is asked, was it not published at tho timo in mauy papers at the North, and very generally believed, that tho army was surprised? No doubt this is true. Tho nowspaper accounts were highly colored and in many cases greatly exaggerated. These came back to tho cainpa and many a soldier be lioved that a surprise was tho cause of our hard fighting. Each ono knew ho had not been sur prised, but he thought somobody else must have been. Tho official reports in detail did not appear till Juno, 1SG2, when they were called for by a resolution of the United States Senate and wero published in Senate document No. 6G. Any one who will take tho trouble to examino those reports will find tho facta here given fully sus tained. I might rest tho case hore and ask the advo vocates of tho surprise theory to offer somo better evidenco than tho opinion of persons who did not seethobattlo open. But I will add a fact or two coming undor my own observa tion. Within ten day aftor the battlo a board of officers was convened to examine charges that mi'ht be preferred against officers for miscon duct in tho battlo of the Gth and 7th. Tho board was General Johu A.Logan and Colonels Smith, Leggett, Stuart and Veatch. Thoy ex amined tho charges against sovoral officers and heard thoir defense. Tho whole story of how tho battlo began, with all its details, was ropeatcd again and again, but no officer protended that ho had been sur prised. Tho surpriso theory had not then reached the camps from tho newspapers. At Memphis, in August, 1SG2, an officer of General Sherman's commaud was tried by court-martial. I was mado a membor of that court. In his defenso that officer discussed the whole battle of Shiloh. But instead of claiming a surprise, ho insisted that he and many other oilicors knew tho rebels wera near, and meant to attack. Having given you my view of tho "surprise theory," tho limits of this paper will not allow further discussion. Tho battlo of Shiloh will ever hold a con spicuous pluoe, in our military history. Its vexed questions will bo sottlod by timo and patient investigation, and it will bo held, as it deserves to be, as the turning point in our suc cess in prosecuting tho war for tho presorYa tion of tho "Union, THE WAR l THE WEST. Sketch of the Early Career of General Nelson. GAY LIEE IN CHILI. Recruiting Soldiers for the Union Army. ORGANIZING THE CAMP. The Mountaineers Rally to the Standard, of the Union. Chapter HI. Lieutenant William Nelson, TJ. S. N., the officer chosen to perform tho delicate and diffi cult task of establishing a camp and organiz ing a brigade of Union soldiers on Kentucky soil in opposition to the judgment of avowed Union men, was a man eminently fitted for tho un dertaking. Tho times wero turbulent mur der, unwhipt of justice, stalked through tho land. The State guard, 10,000 strong, under the leadership of General Simon Bolivar Buck ncr, was under a high stato of discipline, thor oughly equipped, and ably commanded. Many of the companies comprised in the organization would havo responded to tho call of tho com mander to disperso the nowly-organized camp. This ordor would doubtles3 havo beon issued if troops from the Northern States had joined the camp. NELSON'S EARLY LIFE IN THE NAVY. Lieutenant Nelson, the third son of Dr. Thos. Nelson, of Maysville, Ky., was born in that city September 27th, 1821, and was, conse quently, thirty-seven years of ago when en trusted with tho resp3nsibility of organizing tho first camp of Union soldiers on the soil of his native Stato. At fifteen years of age ho entered tho Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the next year sailed as midshipman on tho Yorktown to tho Pacific Ocean, where ho spent two years practically studying tho duties of the service. In 1843 he returned to Annapolis, whero ho was examined and promoted to the rank of passed midship man, aud was assigned to the ship Raritan, which at onco sailed to tho Pacific. Ho con tinued in the naval sorvico until the war with Mexico, when, at the siege of Vera Cruz, he had command of a gun on tho steamer Scourge, where ho greatly distinguished himself, con tinuing to work tho gun himself with un daunted courage after most of his men had been killed. For gallantry on that occasion ho was voted a sword by Congress and promoted. Soon after tho closo of the Mexican war he was sent to the naval station on tho Mediterranean, whore he remained two years. Hore he laid the foundation of the wonderful proficiency that subsequently distinguished him as a lin guist. Ho returned to the United States on the steamer Mississippi, which brought tho illus trious Kossuth to our shores. Young Nelson, who was extremely enthusiastic and kind in manner, won the regard of the ex-Dictator of Hungary, and accompanied him in most of his travels through tho United States. After a brief leave of absence Lieut. Nelson was assigned, at tho close of tho year 1854, to the command of tho 6tore-ship Fridonia, anchored in the Bay of Valparaiso, as a depot of stores for tho Ameri can squadron. WHAT THE CHILIANS SAID OF HIM. La Voz dc Chile, a paper published at Santi ago do Chili, in a highly-eulogistic sketch of the career of Major-General Nelson on Novem ber 22, 1862, shortly after his death, refers as follows to his residence in that country: "To this circumstance do we owe the residence among us for nearly three years of Lieutenant Nelson, leaving at his departuro imperishable memories among his friends. He was as jovial, as kind, as frank in manner, as distinguished in bearing, as cultivated a gentleman as ho wa3 a loyal and courteous comrade. Ho possessed, moreover, many social attractions, speaking porfectly fivo or six languages, delighting in tho dance (even rendering himself famous in tho national zamacueca), and was deemed a de cided amateur in music. His finer qualities were, however, dimmed by an extreme impetu osity of temper, manifested at times by strango acts, such as in an evil hour cost him his lifo. "Many are tho incidents illustrativo of tho character and spirit of Nelson treasured among tho mauy friends ho left in Chili, and we can not refrain from hero recording ono incident which tested his extraordinary presence of mind no less than his herculean strength. During his residence at Valparaiso Nelson was accustomed to take part in tho fox hunts then greatly in fashion among tho Euglish at that port. Upon ono of these occasions tho horse upon which an estimable young Chilian was mounted fell in attempting to leap a ditch, crushing beneath him tho body of his rider. A FEAT OF HERCULEAN STRENGTH. All supposed him killed, and in ordor to obtain his body proposed to shoot the horso. Nelson objected, stating that tho dying throes of tho animal might extinguish tho latent spark of life remaining in his rider, and proceeded at once to tie, with a silken scarf he'woro, the four .legs of tho horse. Then, making an almost superhuman effort, ho lifted tho animal suffi ciently to enable tho others to draw out tho scarcely living rider, whoso lifo was thus miraculously preserved. It will bo conceived that Nelson was capable of performing this prodigy of strength when it is remembered that ho was at this timo, although only thirty-three years of ago, over six feet in stature, weighing two hundred and fifty pounds. "Notwithstanding his stature, ho was neither obeso nor wanting in the agility or grace of an elegante. It is true that, liko Henry tho VIII., ho broke down three or four horses in a day's ride, but aftor a gallop at Aculeo or the fig groves of Catraco wo frequently found him an elegant and tasteful gentleman in tho salons, whero moro than once, carried away by tho spontaneousness of his disposition, ho was seen to knoel before somo lovely Chilian, to whom tho dashing sailor sworo a lovo a3 inconstant as tho billows of the sea. Hi3 fun was irre pressible. On ono occasion ho removed tho hat of a servant in a pistol gallery at Val paraiso by a well-directed ball, paying him on tho spot for tha damago and fright with a handful of coin, for ha was as accurate a shot aa he was a finished gentleman." Lieutenant Nelson returned to tho United States in. 1857, and was placed on waiting orders, spending most of hi3 timo in Washing ton. SELECTED BY THE PRESIDENT. On tho outbreak of tho rebellion, in thy spring of 18G1, ho was ordered to the West to. fit out a flotilla of gunboats to operate upon tho Ohio River, whero ho aided in procuring arms for distribution among tho loyal citizen of Kentucky. Hon. C. C. Burton, of Lancaster, visiting Washington in June, had an interview with President Lincoln, urging the organize, tion of tho Union men of Kentucky into regi ments, and obtained his partial approbation off tho enterprise. Both agreed that a United States officer should be selected of experience in handling troops, and who was also a nativo. Kentuckian, to assume command in the Stats; Leaving the Executive Mansion, Judgo Burton accidentally met Lieutenant Nelson, and air, onco returned to tho President, announcing; that ho had found tho man. Lieutenant NeL son was sent for and mado acquainted with tha plan. Although unfamiliar with military af fairs, ho struck President Lincoln as the mas for tho occasion, and was notified to hold him, self in readiness to accept an appointment t servico on land. No moro fit appointment conld hava bcei made. His very faults wero in his favor. TTfy imperious temper rendered him impatient of opposition. When urged to delay recruiting until the Stato had decided what course ifc would pursue in tho impending struggle, h closed all argument by exhibiting lm orders referring the grumblera and croakers to tha General Government, from which his order emanated. By virtue of authority vested in him by tha War Department, he issued commissions, bear ing date July 15, 1861, to William J. LandrunL, of Lancaster, Ky., to raise a cavalry regiment and to Theopbilus T. Garrard, Thomas H. Bramlette, and Speed S. Fry to raiso threo regi ments of infantry. Messrs. W. A. Hoskins, G. C. Kniffin, and Georgo L. Dobbins wero subsequently commis sioned as staff officers. AN EFFORT TO STOP RECRUITING. Soon after tho preliminary meeting at Lan caster, where the above-named gentlemen wera empowered to raiso regiments for tho United States service, General Nelson returned to Cin cinnati to make arrangements for supplies fb? his camp, and active preparations for recruiting were immediately commenced by tho officers named and tho subordinates selected by thezs to assist in the work. Not long after tho work was commenced aa effort was made, upon the part of several promi nent politicians in different parts of tho State, to postpone tho whole movement, upon tho ground of its inexpediency, in. view of the faci that it might be construed a3 a menace by tha States then in rebellion, and precipitate an in vasion of Kentucky by tho forces then known to be assembled near the State lino in Tennes see. Colonel Landruin was notified that at a meeting of those having authority to act in tha matter, it was agreed to postpone the organiza tion of the troop3, and ho was requested to notify the other officers accordingly. General Nelson was notified promptly of this movement and in a letter dated Cincinnati, O., Jnly 23 18G1, ho wrote to Colonel Landruin as follows: " The expedition is neither postponed nor aban doned. So far from suspending operations, X earnestly desire that they be urged on with tha utmost energy. If the idea of postponement or abandonment has been spread among youx people, that idea must be corrected. I shall as semble tho brigade and muster it into service as soon a3 possible." Immediately on receipt of this letter, Colonel Landrum communicated its contents to tha other officers, and the work of recrutlng was resumed, and on the day after tho August elec tion the troops began to arrive at Camp Diak Robinson. Bramlette, Fry, and Garrard wera on hand to take command of their respectiva regiments ; while Landrum, preferring tho in fantry to the cavalry, concluded to turn his regiment over to Lieutonant-Colonel Wolford, and to raiso an infantry regiment at Harroda burg, Ky., in the meantime acting as adjutant general for General Nelson for several week after his arrival. TROOPS QUARTERED UNDER THE TREES. Tho officers named, with tho assistance of recruiting officers throughout tho country in which tho camp was located, prosecuted tha business entrusted to them with such en ergy and success that by tho middle of August the required number to fill each regiment wexa in camp ready for muster into the service. Tho difficulty in obtaining clothing and camp one! garrison equipage now began. The equipment of the immense armies of tho United States, now numbering 500,000 men, had caused such adrafi upon tho manufacturing establishments of tha country that ic was impossible to fill tho oft repeated requisitions made by Nelson upon tha Quartermaster's Department. In the absenca of tents, the recruits were assigned quarter under tho wide-spreading branches of a grove oi maples, whero exposure to the elements rendered it necessary to erect a hospital at an early data in tho history of the camp. Tho light clothing they had worn to camp in the expectation oi exchanging it for the bluo uniform of tho army soon succumbed to the wear and tear of camp life, and flags of truce were displayed by many a doughty warrior who would havo been tha last to exhibit it if confronted by the enemy. Eecruiting in tho country southward and eastward from tho camp was comparatively easy. Tho country is mountainous, and tha inhabitants on equal terms with reference to wealth and social standing. Thero wero fevr slaveholders, and the people, accustomed to in dependence of thought, word and deed, had exercised tho right to form their own conclu sions upon the question of secession. Tha latent loyalty existing in the breast of every true American, being untrammeled by inferos, in tho institution of slavery, and by inter ference on tho part of secession orators who early found themselves confronted by Union men possessing greater influence with tho peo plo asserted itself. Eeady to engage in an en terprise that promised relief to thoir loyal neigh bors across the Tennessee border, whoso perse cution by the State authorities at this timo had awakened a thrill of indignation throughout tho country, they enrolled their names under tho banner of their country. Owing to this fact, it came about that the'regiments of Wol ford, Garrard and) Bnimbletto wero recruited largely from the counties adjacent to the north ern lino of Tennessee. Tho traditional courage of the mountaineers of all countries was exhibited by these splendid regiments in their subsequent career. They participated in nearly overy battle fought by the armies of tho "Cumberland" and tha "Tennessee," and whether with Eosecrans at Stone River and Chickamauga, with Grant a5 Black River Bridge and Vicksburg, or with Sherman througha hundred days of battle to the capture of Atlanta, thoy were everywhei complimented for courage and aadaranca. 7b fa continued.